April 23rd, 2008
10:26 AM ET
12 years ago

NY Times slams Clinton's 'negativity'

 Clinton celebrates her Pennsylvania victory with Gov. Ed Rendell.

Clinton celebrates her Pennsylvania victory with Gov. Ed Rendell.

(CNN) - Fresh off her victory in Pennsylvania, Hillary Clinton is facing a stinging rebuke of her campaign tactics from her hometown paper, The New York Times.

In the paper's Wednesday edition, the editorial board which endorsed Clinton's White House bid earlier this year says the New York senator's "negativity" is doing "harm to her, her opponent, her party and the 2008 election."

"The Pennsylvania campaign, which produced yet another inconclusive result on Tuesday, was even meaner, more vacuous, more desperate, and more filled with pandering than the mean, vacuous, desperate, pander-filled contests that preceded it," the board writes.

The paper finds fault in Clinton's latest campaign ad, which includes an image of Osama bin Laden, and asks, "Who do you think has what it takes?"

"Mrs Clinton became the first Democratic candidate to wave the bloody shirt of 9/11," they write, adding that it is a tactic that is "torn right from Karl Rove’s playbook."

"Mrs. Clinton does more than just turn off voters who don’t like negative campaigning," the editorial also states. "She undercuts the rationale for her candidacy that led this page and others to support her: that she is more qualified, right now, to be president than Mr. Obama."

The paper also says Barack Obama deserves some of the blame for the negative tone. "He is increasingly rising to Mrs. Clinton’s bait, undercutting his own claims that he is offering a higher more inclusive form of politics."

But the editorial makes clear the paper thinks most of the blames lies with Clinton. "If she is ever to have a hope of persuading [superdelegates] to come back to her side, let alone win over the larger body of voters, she has to call off the dogs."

soundoff (917 Responses)
  1. Sharon

    Hillary even your own city newspaper does not like your tactics. You are the biggest hypocrite I have seen in politics. One day you are dogging Barack, the next day you are praising him. He has more integrity that you have in your little finger. In the end you will see that Barack will win. More states won, more of the popular vote, more pledged delegates, creeping up on superdelegates. What does that equal = WINNER!!!!!! Go back to New York, work as a senator and then take your retirement in Scranton, Arkansas or wherever you come from with the millions of dollars you and Bill have.

    April 23, 2008 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  2. MARYANN Oswego IL

    GO Hillary I knew you would win..I am so glad I 'm on your side.... Hillary 08

    April 23, 2008 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  3. Em

    Go Hillary!! Ed Rendell for VP!!

    And btw, CNN – you suck!

    April 23, 2008 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  4. Jaded

    CNN: Whatever happened to objective and unbiased journalism? I swear, ever since this primary started, CNN has been nothing but disparaging to Hillary Clinton. So CNN likes Obama, I like Obama too, but no one can deny the fact that Clinton is still a great candidate. I am starting to suspect that CNN reporters/bloggers/editors are a bunch of sexist elitists.

    April 23, 2008 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  5. andanotherthing

    This is bogus. Must be a turncoat on staff.

    April 23, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  6. clarlune

    note to BILL W. who obviously thinks he is soooo much more intelligent than so many in "his" state... it must be soooo lonely up there in the rarified air, sipping wine and eating fondue with your friends in Pacific Palisades. lmao

    April 23, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  7. kimberly of Seattle

    Make no mistake about it I will not vote for Hillary Clinton ....I am a single african american female. I do not like the negative campaining being initiated by the clinton campaign – Bill and Hillary will do anything to win and they are not that much different from the republican party and their tactics. I am a lifelong democrat, however, I will not support the clintons.

    April 23, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  8. Luke

    We've all known that she couldn't statistically win for months, Hilary, and her supporters need to give it up for the good of the party, and the country. She's been grasping for straws for a while now, this is why she's gone so negative, and it's the reason no one is donating money to her campaign. Yes, she won Pennsylvania, and gained a whole 3 delegates. No one in the media, or in the Hilary camp, is being honest about the fact that she can't statistically win without going against the will of the people with superdels. This is all a tremendous waste of time, and party solidarity.

    April 23, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  9. Rhonda in KY

    There is no question that her negativity is guaranteeing a McCain victory in the fall. I would never vote for her if she were the nominee but she will destroy Obama and the party on her way down. I'm not surprised by PA voters but so very disappointed that they bought into her ridiculous fear mongering.

    April 23, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  10. Daniel, Loganville Ga

    Congrats Sen. Clinton, Operation Chaos was a success I guess...PA got it wrong tonight...We need a change in this country from the old politics. THis country is in trouble and we are playing games. Wake up America before it's too late.

    OBAMA '08

    April 23, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  11. hillary is brilliant

    haters..... she is the strongest candidate...if the dems want to lose this fall they can keep being negative against the best candidate...we will lose this election. HIllary 08

    April 23, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  12. Joey

    Despite him outspending Hillary 3 to 1 in ads, He still lost. Tonight really raised questions about Obama's electability. The democrats need to win Pennsylvania in November and Obama can't seem to win these battleground states like Ohio, Pennsylvania. Also, Hillary is winning in double digits and over 200,000 in popular votes!

    April 23, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  13. who cares!

    Who cares? look at the readership of this paper- down, down and soon will be gone! any extreme media outlet would lose out in the end- be it looney right or looney left. this george soros-kind of crowd brings a poor name to this country and berates all moderates! ALL FOR HILLARY!

    April 23, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  14. CStroud

    I will be resubscribing to the NYT tomorrow!

    April 23, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  15. SFinKorea

    Even the comments on this blog are negative. Stop talking about why the other candidate is bad. Just talk about why yours is good. This primary has become a travesty.

    BTW, nobody like sore winners.

    April 23, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  16. Educated voters wanted

    It would be nice if folks actually read the NY Times editorial. It was accurately report by CNN, so quit bashing CNN. Also, the NY Times editorial, while very critical of Clinton, still backs her, claiming that she needs to "call off the dogs" if she is to convince superdelegates that she deserves their votes because, as the NY Times continues to insist, she is the most qualified. There is so much foolishness posted here one has to wonder about the basic smarts of Dem voters.

    April 23, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  17. kari

    Why is it that people in this country think that only two families can run this country? (the Bush's and The Clinton's) I am tired of these names. They offer the same old politics and both are bullies. The Clinton's left the White House in shame and the Bush's will leave in shame and not caring about the damage he has done to America.

    I hope that Sen. Obama will not let Sen. Clinton pull him down to her level of dirty or gutter politics. We need someone like Sen. Obama. He will bring back family values, honesty, respect. He will bring this country together and restore the dignity that America deserve from the rest of the world.

    April 23, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  18. Michael

    Thank you NY Times. It is about time someone in the media has the courage to point out the obvious.

    April 23, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  19. Brian

    PA has once again shown that they will vote for a loser. Hilldog can't win the national election and will resort to the Rovarian style politics that Slick Willie condemed. Indiana and Kentucky better look close at what happened here in PA. Hillary and her merry band of dividers have pushed a new generation of voters to the curb. Sleep tight !!

    April 23, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  20. Bruce M.

    Spin this–there is no way she can win the popular vote. There is no way she can win in pledged delegates. Her own people are conceding this.

    And there is no way the Democratic party is going to select someone who won neither the popular vote nor the pledged delegate race.

    She is going to lose. It's a matter of time. The question is how much of the party she's going to bring down with her.

    April 23, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  21. Joe

    Iron out your hoods boys

    Hillary 08

    April 23, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  22. TiffIn in Ohio

    Congrats to Hillary! The NY Times is right. She has been very negative. It's sad to think that she would bring down the Democratic party to have her way. I heard a commentator state "Hillary will burn down the village and call it saving the people." No matter what she does Obama must stay on point and not be swayed by her negative distractions. It's time for him to push up his sleeves and give the people what they want....deal with the issues, show case solutions, and reignite the flame of HOPE. It ain't over until it's over.

    Obama 08!!

    April 23, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  23. Rj

    Obama spent:

    $22,000.00 – Spent to Racists J. Wright Jr. Church

    $12Million??? – Spent to buy PA voters

    Senator Clinton Wins Pennsylvania – PRICELESS!!!

    April 23, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  24. RICKY

    I'm pretty sure the Democratic is going to lose the election. I stopped caring tonight after I realized that this campaign is going to get uglier and divide the party even further. I will vote democrat no matter what just because I don't want 4 more years of Bush type politics and war-mongering. But %10+ of democratic voters say they will vote McCain if thier Dem candidate doesnt win. Another large percentage say they won't vote at all. SAD

    April 23, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  25. Joan, Kentucky

    If Pennsylvania voters had read the late Barbara Olson`s two books, maybe the election results would have been different. Also, what about the Presidential pardons that were given before Bill Clinton left office? Some had questionable reasons behind them.

    Sure, the Clinton years were good for most of us, but President Bush didn`t create all our problems by himself.

    April 23, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
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